The Youth MAX Leadership Conference took place at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, on Dec. 12. Local High School students came together with local business and organization leaders to learn valuable leadership skills.
The Youth MAX program is based on the qualities of John Maxwell. The program was coordinated by ESC Gifted Services Coordinator Sharee Price and presented by ESC Curriculum Supervisors Kara Copeland, Tammy Hambrick, and J.D. Emnett.
“The Maxwell qualities really center on leadership, such as humility, reality, responsibility, teachability, and many other issues leaders encounter. What we are trying to do is work with juniors and seniors that are already displaying leadership-type qualities, to receive leadership training based around the book ‘Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.’ We hope to help them gather information to overcome challenges in life,” Copeland said.
The ESC Gifted and Curriculum departments collaborated with local business and organization leaders, many of whom are members of the Southern Ohio Professional Partners. This is the third year the ESC has offered the program. Members of the Southern Ohio Professional Partners have participated all three years as small-group facilitators. Volunteers included Jesse Johnson (Rich TV), Pete Mingus and Donna Wolery (Farmers Insurance), Craig DeAtley (Century 21), Angie Duduit (SSU), Kim Cutlip (Scioto Foundation), Hope Blizzard and Debbie Daniels (SOMC), Josh Shoemaker (Scioto County Career Technical Center), and Maxine Malone (14th Street Community Center).
“It’s great to see local leaders taking the time to meet with students at an event like this. I think they learn a lot from interacting with each other. The business and organization leaders always comment about how great the students are and how much they enjoyed meeting them and participating in some of the team-building activities we do. By meeting with the facilitators, students also gain valuable experience in learning how to network and interact with adults,” Gifted Services Coordinator Sharee Price said.
Thirty students – one junior and one senior from 15 school districts – were selected to participate. Activities were Christmas-themed, such as identifying traits of classic Christmas characters, and wrapping gifts as a team using only one hand each.
“At the same time, the business leaders observed the teams for some of the Maxwell qualities – like whether they could work through adversity, or if they were teachable, or if they could figure out how to deal with a problem on the spot. Then we came back together as a group and discussed examples of what they observed the students doing. They had a lot of fun and they also learned something, too,” Hambrick said.
The Youth MAX Leadership program is sponsored by Portsmouth Rotary Club, the Scioto Foundation, and Southern Ohio Medical Center. Prizes were provided by Jet’s Popcorn, Market Street Café, Fred’s Pizza Express, and Tim Glockner (Winterfest).
For more information about the ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.